Re: ISO/IEC 10646 versus Unicode

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Fri Jul 19 2002 - 18:34:17 EDT

> At 10:41 AM 7/19/02 -0400, Alain LaBonté wrote:
> > That said, the Unicode approach was superior -- because simpler --
> > than the first UCS drafts which went as far as DIS before being turned down.
> Is there a copy or a summary of this online? I've found details or
> exact texts for most of the other early Unicodia online, but never this.

For the record, some of the key WG2 documents in the early trail of 10646
drafts were:

N 412: DP 10646 (January 1989)
N 466: Summary of voting on 1st DP 10646 (June 1989)
N 551: Second DP 10646 (December 1989)
N 607: ISO/dp 10646 Draft 2 Versus Unicode, Ed Hart (March 1990)
N 637: Disposition of Comments on 2nd DP 10646 (December 1990)
N 666: DIS 10646 (November 1990) [The number of this beast was coincidental. ;-)]
N 699: 10646M proposal draft to merge Unicode and 10646, Ed Hart (June 1991)
N 705: DIS 10646 ballots (June 1991)

Up to here, we are talking about the old form of 10646, the so-called
DIS-1, as it later came to be called. N 705 tolled the bad news for
DIS-1, that it did not have consensus in that form. "10646M" was
the seed for the merger of the Unicode architecture/repertoire with
the 10646 architecture/repertoire that eventually turned into DIS-2.

N 783: DIS 10646-1.2 (DIS II) (December 1991)

This was the document, which, when through its ballotting and resolution
of comments, became ISO/IEC 10646-1:1993.

The earliest WG2 document that is part of the collection systematically
kept online at the SC2/WG2 website is N 1327 (1996-04-10). Many of the
earlier documents were never distributed electronically. And some of
the key documents were assembled in ways that might make it difficult
to even identify an electronic copy now. But perhaps someone has such,
or a scanned copy placed somewhere accessible. I just don't know of

Some not entirely coincidental dates associated with that above document trail:

January 3, 1991: Incorporation of the Unicode Consortium
August 9, 1991: Camera-ready production copy of Unicode 1.0 delivered to
October 18, 1991: Printed copies of Unicode 1.0 arrive for distribution.


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